Thursday 08 June, 2023

View from the rostrum: Let's make the sector stronger

Supporting each other is key, says John Wharton.

clock • 2 min read
View from the rostrum: Let's make the sector stronger

Supporting each other is key, says John Wharton.

At Mitchells Auction Mart, Lakeland Livestock Centre, we hold weekly sales of prime stock on a Wednesday and fortnightly sales of store, breeding and feeding cattle, stirks and calves, followed by store sheep on a Friday.

Prices of livestock have been outstanding throughout this pandemic, which is not going away in the immediate future.

The auction mart has been very fortunate to be classed as part of the key essential workers union, and we are pleased of the fact we have not missed a sale and achieved some outstanding results week in and week out.

Lots of things to an older auctioneer like myself often fall into the category of ‘well that is always how we do it'.

But the moving times of social media has taught me one thing - embrace change and have plenty of team meetings to learn Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp and so on.

You, the farmer, know prices and trade almost before the hammer has fallen.

But be assured, trade and payment does not come without risk, which is where the auction rostrum comes into its strength - ‘guaranteed payment'.


For those out there who question the husbandry and welfare of the auction system and think farm to farm/farm to abattoir should be the way forward, let me inform you all auction marts are Red Tractor assured and all haulage companies have transportation licenses.

Your animals are given a five star drive-through when attending their sale days.

On January 8, Mitchells sold 1,000 head of store cattle with not one farmer disappointed and all possibly under-valuing their harvest pre-sale.

With Mitchells being positioned in the heart of the Lake District, regular and first-time buyers find quality of stock to be of the best standard and breeding.

Please visit our website ( to view future spring sales and follow us on Facebook.

The industry looks promising for the first two thirds of the year, with prices to remain strong due to the stay-at-home demand and the strength of currency, allowing export companies to benefit.

Farmers out there reading this, support your auction marts in any way.

Let's not be jealous or envious of your neighbours.

Support each other to make rural life and the agricultural sector stronger.

John Wharton

John Wharton is livestock manager and auctioneer at Mitchells Livestock. Call 07912 946 549 or email [email protected]